Monday, June 13, 2011

Mountain Bike Short Track race #2 -- Yahoo again!

Last week, at the first short track race I had a blast. I smiled a lot and just had fun. I also felt strong, caught a few riders and never wished the race would be over. I can remember many times last year, in both short track and cyclocross just waiting waiting waiting to hear the bell ring sometime after my second lap. But two races into this season? Nope. I hear the bell and immediately begin to coach myself:

"Okay, you're half a lap away. Keep pushing but don't blow up. If you make the bell lap you'll need that last bit of go juice..."

"Okay, almost there. Keep going."

And I'd pass by the finish banner with the bell still ringing! YEAH! Got my bell lap, baby!

I also have no intention of riding anything but my single-speed this season. In Short track, I mean. Cycloscross is different. (I might switch to 1x9, though.) Friend Will set me up with some Avid SD 7 linear-pull brakes and compatible aero-levers. That bike is sweet now. I love it.

I am just so stoked right now—I'm having so much fun racing my bike! I love it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crazy urban downhill race. Wow. Just... wow.

I don't have much to say about this. But this video, in particular, is really well done. I love the transitions between the two points of view!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Should cyclists pay for the roads?

Okay, for the last time, cyclists DO pay for the roads we ride our bikes on.

In a nutshell: gas taxes and other fees and taxes directly related to automobiles go towards (but do not entirely cover) the costs of building and maintaining highways ans freeways. Local roads are paid for from general tax funds (property taxes, etc). So if a person has a house and/or a car they PAY FOR THE ROADS! So stop with the whining and bogus "bike taxes/registration fees" arguments already.

Read more here-- it's worth it:

Don't forget to down load the PDF of the 2004 report "Whose Roads" by economist Todd Litman.

So don't flip me the finger as you drive by because you're outraged that I'm mooching off YOUR roads. I have a car that I rarely drive. I pay registration fees and taxes for it. I also pay OTHER taxes that pay for all the local roads. But because I'm riding a bike, I'm causing less damage that you are in your car and costing taxpayers (you included) less money.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A few weeks ago I was getting the heebie-jeebies about the looming cyclocross season. Deep down inside, a secret part of me was dreading the upcoming races.

Yeah, I know. Blasphemy, right?

I tried to ignore that. But I kept returning to those feelings and thought I'd better take a good look and see if I could figure out what was going on.

Well I guess it was just that. Heebie-jeebies. Because once Alpenrose hit, it was like falling off a cliff and discovering that you can fly. Not that I was actually flying at Alpenrose. More like slogging. But you get the idea.

Adam Myerson has a little feature over on that sums up the ineffable nature of cyclocross pretty well. (Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of Mr. Myerson. He did a lot of skeevy whining on the DVD "Transition" and I followed him on Twitter for a bit and then just had to stop. Bleah.)

So anyway: Why I Race Cyclocross

Alpenrose was busy. Soooo many racers were out there it was more a ride than a race at times. Still... I love it so. Alpenrose, in 2005, was my first-ever cyclocross race.

Then there was Rainier. Muddy! Yay! That cursed hill! Yay!

So I'm glad that cyclocross season is here.

BMX, BMX everywhere...

I just noticed that my last few posts have been about BMX this or that. What's up with that?

Avid's Single Digit brake... aptly named

I love it when something just works really well.

I recently picked up a set of Avid's Single Digit 7 linear-pull brakes for my BMX bike. I got a good deal and... well I don't really need to try and rationalize it. It was bike stuff. Simple.

So I installed the SD 7's replacing the Tektro brakes that came OEM on the bike. One thing I noticed was that the arms were a few millimeters longer than the Tektros. They also felt a little lighter, but I don't have a kitchen scale and can't say for sure. But who cares. They look really nice and glossy.

I had read many favorable reviews of the Avid Single Digit brakes with many folks saying that they out-performed Shimano V-Brakes! Okay. I can dig it.

Once installed the first think I noticed was that the pull at the lever was noticeably lighter. Nice. Yeah. I know-- "It's the springs, silly!" But I had already backed off the Tektros to try and get a light pull at the lever. I'm sure that the feel was a product of the longer arms. At least in part. (Why didn't pay more attention to my math classes? Wouldn't some math and geometry be good right about now?)

A couple of quick test runs confirmed the reviews of the Single Digit 7's. They do indeed require only a single digit to lock up the wheel! Very nice.

I also installed a set of Crank Brothers Mallet 1 pedals. But something's not quite right-- The left side pedal is wobbly. It's not the spindle-- I just bought a set of replacements from CB. Is it the crank? The pedal body? But that's another post...